Saturday, September 9, 2017

Summer's Moving On

When cabbages begin to appear on florist shelves,
 I know what comes next...
 
 
...a dying of summer's colors.
 

Red-tailed squirrels scurry about in the trees, stocking their shelves.
And it's a little cool for dining on the deck.
(insert disappointed face emoji)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sunday Night Dinner: A New Tradition


Family traditions at our house are rare.
 Christmas wherever we happen to be together.
Birthdays by mail. Or not.
So I was surprised the other day...
 
 "What do you think about taking turns making Sunday night dinners?,
 our daughter texted. I replied with "I think it's a GREAT idea!"
I'm up first: September 3 during Labor Day weekend.
Hurray! A theme. An excuse to visit Pinterest for inspiring treats.
 
Simple crostini: Thin slices of brie baked on baguette slices for 6 minutes at 350 degrees.
 Decorated with strawberry slices, dribbles of honey over the berries,
 and narrow slices of fresh basil.

Easy lollipops. Small wedges of watermelon signal summer's end.
 
Hope your Labor Day weekend is filled with work-free hours
 (unless you're volunteering for Harvey's victims--bless you).
Our donations, thoughts and prayers go out for them.
 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Living in the Light


On these cool August mornings, we open windows and doors
 to welcome the freshly rained-upon air.
The sun upstages the clouds and the leaves of the trees
 flicker and whisper in the light.

 
Did I tell you we live along Woodland Avenue?
 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Good, Clean Fun

It took a month or more but our new kitchen is here at last
 and it comes with electricity and water!

Water for washing and energy for firing up the cooking pots are the elements we appreciate the most. Now that we have those, we can move into generous drawers, free-flying awning cabinet doors and wide, wide clean and white counter spaces.
 
Lots of LED lighting has me walking in pure white air. However, the upper cabinet lighting fails to light the lower shelves so I ordered glass shelves to replace the wooden ones. A good adjustment.
 
Awning-style doors make smooth and easy access to everyday dishes.


The galley view shows my triangular work pattern from sink to stove to refrigerator.

The silgranit sink is colored "Truffle" and
water is turned on and off with a gentle tap on top of the faucet.
Uncluttered.

Drawers instead of doors eliminate leaning or kneeling
into deep recesses of a cupboard.


White quartz "Misterio" countertops are created with
barely-there grey veining. 
A step back into the dining room gives you an overall look.
The island awaits galvanized metal counter stools.


Next: A trip to the store for drawer liners.
 Nothing like clean and fresh beginnings!
 
Today was our 53rd wedding anniversary.
We opened a bottle of champagne and clinked our glasses with great happiness.
Life is good!

August 10....update. A few adjustments:

Glass shelves replace the original wood ones so cabinet lighting can shine through.

Distressed metal stools from Target let me chat with guests while I cook.

One last overall view...


Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Few Details

We were surprised a couple days ago when the guys came back to finish a few things like installing the new "powder room" (do they still call it that?) vanity and replace the oversized cove molding that came with the house.

 That means WATER! We can wash our hands in a small waterfall of a faucet!
Delightful!
 
 
 The blush-colored walls of the "powder room"
are inspired by Matisse.


 
The water vessel came with us from our home in Venice, Florida.


In the hall outside the water room,
 I arranged a hall tree intended only as a piece of d├ęcor
rather than handy place for big coats or baseball caps.


I found the Umbra hall tree at The Container Store.
We've been told the countertops are coming in tomorrow, the appliances on Thursday, and everything finished by the end of the week. Just in time for Mr. Wonderful's birthday on the 8th.
Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hit the PAUSE Button

Just when we were gearing up for the kitchen finish,
 the countertop people added two weeks to their schedule.
"Look for us by the Fourth of July," they said.
 
Calling on Patience.
What to do with the time?
I guess I'll...
 
Visit the Little House while Kim and Adam are in Europe.
 

Go shopping.


Light candles.
 

Drink something cool.
 

Walk in a forest cathedral.

 
Gaze upon stars.
 
Photo: Wikipedia

Go to grandsons' ball games.
 
 
And light a fire under those countertop boys
to celebrate the Fourth of July!
 
 
Watch this space...
 
and have a great Fourth!
+++

Saturday, June 17, 2017

D Day in West Des Moines


We moved to our townhouse a year ago,
 knowing we'd update the kitchen.


 I took the door off the closet-like "pantry" after we moved in
 to make things more accessible behind the awkward swinging door.

 

This week, the guys Demolished the kitchen in just two hours.
The Disappearance of cabinetry was followed by new plumbing and re-wiring.
 
 
 
 
The electrician loved the vanished ceiling.

 
We did a two-day road trip while the painters wrapped
 adjacent spaces to prepare for painting.
 
The kitchen (below) is ready for installation.
 Tomorrow is another sort of D- Day~~the FUN part!

 
 
Watch this space!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bon Voyage!


OK, I'm not taking a cruise...I'm just setting the table
for family members who will soon fly to Paris.
 
I have a penchant for playing with parchment (makes me think of ancient abbey scrolls) but can't decide on the best plate-setting presentation for
French bread.
 It could be this...
 
Kitchen twine tying a sprig of rosemary and baguette in a parchment sandwich bag.
...this,

A menu penned on parchment.
 or this:
 
A place card holder.
Which do you prefer?

Of course, the menu will reflect the destination. When we visited Paris, we often ate Salade Nicoise because it was an affordable menu selection. Originating in Nice, it was known as "simple food for poor people "--uncooked garden vegetables plus boiled eggs and anchovies.

Sometimes Salade Nicoise is presented in a "composed arrangement" of groups of individual vegetables.
Landon likes meatballs so I'm slow-cooking meatballs with a special sauce.
 
 
Oops! BREAKING NEWS!
Our contractor just called to say he's ready to begin our kitchen renovation.That pretty much puts a stop to this party plan. Maybe it will be a Welcome Home celebration.

 Meanwhile, watch this space!
 
 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sky Lights, Pipes and Mozart

Exsultate, jubilate, K. v, 165
 
Rejoice, be glad,
O you blessed souls,
Rejoice, be glad,
Singing sweet songs;
In response to your singing
Let the heaven sing forth with me.
 
We treated ourselves to a splendid Soli Deo Musica concert at our church yesterday.
The Festival Choir of Faith Lutheran Church, conducted by Dr. David Johnson,
joined with the orchestra, organist Beverley Duffy, and harpist Mary Foss
to lift us to the heights of spirit.
 
For me, the heart of the concert wasn't Mozart--
it was the Celtic Concerto for Harp and Strings by Catrin Finch.
1. Jig a jig
2. Hiraeth (felt like an elegy)
3. Solstsice
 
The Festival Choir finished with Wolfgang's
 Vesperae solennes de Confessore, K. V. 339.
 
The vespers ended with the Canticle Magnificat
 
My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath
rejoiced. For He hath regarded the lowliness of His
hand-maiden. For behold, from henceforth, all
generations shall call me blessed. 
 
+++
 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Opening Faces

We are discovering garden secrets left behind by a previous home owner.
When tulips popped up along the front walkway,
I couldn't resist cutting a few to
juxtapose against the reds of our living room sofa.
 
 
Hostas galore are coming along in shaded areas.
A couple chive plants...
And I'm cooking up early rhubarb stems
to brew pale pink rhubarb cordials.
 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Tidings


"Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and
hallelujah is our song."

Pope John Paul II

 
 
"Our lord has written the promise of resurrection,
not in books alone
but in every leaf of springtime."

Martin Luther

 
 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Makeover

Here's what happened after the pure white snow (see previous post) disappeared.
 

Daffodils and pansies

Snapdragons

 
HAPPY EASTER!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pure As...



Not as the driven snow. But pure.
This morning's snowfall was soft and feathery,
Big, fat visible flakes that stacked one on top of the other.

In an hour, they were gone. Invisible.
Wet wood all around.
 
Spring must be here!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Living Minimally


It's the last flight of our snowbird adventure.
A cash offer on our Florida house makes it possible for us to simplify our lives and go home to just one familiar nest, one property tax, house insurance, and set of utility bills.
 
 
 
We're cutting our possessions in half by selling the house furnished and emptying
 cupboards, drawers, and closets of our personal possessions.

I'm reveling in sunshine on clear surfaces,
 the empty closets painted a delicious pistachio green,
and driving un-needed items to Salvation Army,
 ReStore (retail store for Habitat for Humanity) and Goodwill.

Without dishes, pots and pans in the kitchen,
dining comes in convenience forms.
Without clothing in the closet,
I get dressed out of a suitcase.

Inspection happens next week.
Closing on March 7.

It will be sad to leave this all behind but the time has come.